#1
Now, of course, an accomplished guitarist could probably solo without backing and still keep his audience's attention. However, I'm not an accomplished guitarist :p

I am playing three or four songs alone this weekend, mostly covers and two of them contain solos on the recordings. I had planned to just skip them, but I am kind of using this gig to ***** myself out as a guitarist. The songs are Little Wing and Patience, both of which have solos that rely on the accompaniment to make them sound good.

Is there a way to replace them with some lead playing that won't suffer for being empty? Right now, I'm finishing Little Wing before the solo, and playing triads up the neck for the rhythm part to the solo of Patience, but it's a bit crap.

Any help?
#2
I love little wing....

Anyway, so you are totally unaccompanied? I don't know about doing Little Wing solo unaccompanied, but the solo is the climax of the entire song and what it's built up to...I guess you'll just have to do it-maybe get a chorus on for the solo? Make it a bit bigger...good luck
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#3
pay someone 20% to accompany you.
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Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#5
What kind of gig are you playing?
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#6
It's an open-mic at a kind of mini-music festival to get emergent artists out there. I don't know what kind of crowd I'll be getting, because I think there are other concerts on simultaneously.
#7
I'd suggest either skipping the solo, getting really good at dyads and chords, or pick a different song.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#8
I'll take option A :P

It's too late for me to change - not used to singing and playing.

Cheers
#9
If you doing it acoustic, do some cool picking type solo using the chords of the song. As long as you stay in the key, it will sound good, and it will sound "fuller".
#10
Just do the solo's solo and do it with confidence. I'm sure they will appreciate it all the same.

Best of Luck
Si
#11
If you follow the chord changes in your solo, it will work. Otherwise, don't count on it.
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#12
Do an acoustic "Whole Lotta Love"

It has the unaccompanied guitar solo.

Quote by The_Sophist
I wouldn't suggest that. Whole Lotta Love has a great groove, so if your doing it alone the groove wont be there.


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Last edited by pilgrimevan at Mar 11, 2009,
#13
I wouldn't suggest that. Whole Lotta Love has a great groove, so if your doing it alone the groove wont be there.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#15
Van Halen - Eruption
Quiet riot - Battle Axe
Randy Rhoads solo spot on "Suicide solution"

All unaccompanied solos!
#16
Quote by aetherspear
If you follow the chord changes in your solo, it will work. Otherwise, don't count on it.

You might want to try it out with the solo with someone to see if you can make it work. I'd have to listen to the song again (been a while) to get a really good opinion on if it will work or not, and I need to get some sleep badly... LOL

But you have two things that should help compensate for the lack of backing rhythm. One, you'll probably have established the harmonic context by playing the changes before the rhythm. People will likely remember that and keep it in context. Second, if the solo follows the changes nicely, the changes will be implied and people are also likely to hear the harmonic context, even if it's not there explicitly.

So I think what aetherspear said is well worth considering. If I really have the changes in mind, I can play a solo in such a way that people "hear" the changes. It's not always easy, but interestingly, it does work.

Of course, maybe that one solo just doesn't work without the changes. I'll leave that up to you to decide. But give it a chance. Maybe play it for a friend or two and see if they like it or not before tossing out the solo.

Lastly, if you do try and people throw rotten vegetables at you, it's not my fault.
"Whaddya mean DYNAMICS?! I'm playing as loud as I can!"
#17
The idea behind the unaccompanied guitar solo is that you have to imply the chord structure whilst still continuing to solo. So emphasis of chord tones when they change is key. Another trick is to solo with the corresponding open bass string ringing to imply it (when the chord is suitable) or a harmonic which is the equivalent note.

It takes practice and timing, and knowledge of your scales and how they construct the different chords if you want to do it properly. Practice jamming with yourself at home, implying the chord changes. I think every good lead guitarist should learn how to do this anyway.
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#18
no song relies on accompaniment to sound good. you rely on accomapniment to make you playing the song sound good. groove, time, form, harmony and melody can all be played solo, maybe you should practice arpegiating your way through the chord changes with a metronome? Or playing a chord on beat one followed by a line followed by a chord and making them flow together?
#19
I say just sing the solo and comp on guitar.
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#21
well you could do harmonica, if you know how to. you could maybe use a loop pedal if you can can your hands on one. boss has a pretty good one i think its called RC-2 or something. i have it. you can store like 11 tracks on it. so you could pre record a backing track and then when its solo time, kick in on and then turn it off when you come back in to sing.
#22
Solo is best as it will truly depict your personal approach & promote skills...
#23
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
well you could do harmonica, if you know how to. you could maybe use a loop pedal if you can can your hands on one


I find it pretty amusing how often the loop pedal idea comes up on UG. Obviously they're handy tools, and you can get some great effects happening, but the biggest drawback is that you'll have a limited amount of time to put down a backing track before proceeding to solo over it.

So basically, if you wanted to go from a chorus, then solo over the verse, I hope you already have that verse chord structure saved somewhere, because otherwise you'll have to play the verse chords, and then solo over it. This could double the length of your solo, and bore the audience to death.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#24
^Have you ever used one?
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#25
If you arent skilled at doing this, or have no exposure to chord melody playing, don't do it...or do it and discover that the whole thing dropped out while you played, and it didnt work out so well.

There are not things you do without knowing what you are doing and have practiced and done your homework. If you havent put in the time and study to do it right, the results usually arent that good.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Sep 23, 2010,
#26
Quote by nightwind
^Have you ever used one?


Yes. Have you?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#27
Quote by AlanHB
Yes. Have you?

i have. its not that hard. but i suppose some songs could be. if you are alright to do other things while playing and singing, you could record the verse while you are playing the verse and then stop it. then when you come out of the chorus and want to solo, just kick in the verse that you secretly recorded.

also, good loop pedals can store plenty of tracks. the one i have can only do 11. but bigger ones can do more. so if it was really that complicated, just record it ahead of time.

plus even if you had to go over a verse once before soloing, im pretty sure it wouldnt "bore the audience to death". thats a bit much. plus you can always arrange a song a bit different in order to suite the looping. ive seen people who do one man band type things and do the whole looping live and it sounds great.

the more you use loop pedals, the better you are at it.
#29
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
i have. its not that hard. but i suppose some songs could be. if you are alright to do other things while playing and singing, you could record the verse while you are playing the verse and then stop it. then when you come out of the chorus and want to solo, just kick in the verse that you secretly recorded.

also, good loop pedals can store plenty of tracks. the one i have can only do 11. but bigger ones can do more. so if it was really that complicated, just record it ahead of time.


Yep that's true, but can be quite a hassle. Yes a pro can pull it off, but you'd need pretty accurate timing to blend it in seemlessly. If you use the loop pedal in this way, it's really treating it more like a recorder than anything else.

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
plus even if you had to go over a verse once before soloing, im pretty sure it wouldnt "bore the audience to death". thats a bit much. plus you can always arrange a song a bit different in order to suite the looping. ive seen people who do one man band type things and do the whole looping live and it sounds great.


If a verse went for say, 30 seconds, you are submitting one full minute of vocal-less song to the audience. It's a pretty hefty amount if your song only goes for 3-4 minutes.

Next time you do a solo on stage, pay attention to the audience, and watch how involved they are in the music during the solo. You can be pretty assured that the longer it goes, the less they'll be into it.

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
the more you use loop pedals, the better you are at it.


Yes, like most things this is true.

I'm not trying to discount the usefulness of loop pedals - I think they're great. But to assume they're the solution to all problems would be incorrect. My initial criticism wasn't pointed at you, I just found it amusing that the loop pedal comes up automatically as a solution to problems in a lot of UG threads, when structuring your guitar part to suit the song properly will also solve it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#30
Quote by AlanHB
Yep that's true, but can be quite a hassle. Yes a pro can pull it off, but you'd need pretty accurate timing to blend it in seemlessly. If you use the loop pedal in this way, it's really treating it more like a recorder than anything else.

so? the OP wanted a solution. i doubt he's going to play too many songs. i really dont see the problem with recording a loop ahead of time to play over.

If a verse went for say, 30 seconds, you are submitting one full minute of vocal-less song to the audience. It's a pretty hefty amount if your song only goes for 3-4 minutes.

sure. but in that situation i would either pre record it or do it while i was playing and then turn it on during the solo.

Next time you do a solo on stage, pay attention to the audience, and watch how involved they are in the music during the solo. You can be pretty assured that the longer it goes, the less they'll be into it.

depends on your audience. cream used to have huge rolling jam sessions and the audience loved it. if we are talking open mic night, yeah i wouldnt go too long.

I'm not trying to discount the usefulness of loop pedals - I think they're great. But to assume they're the solution to all problems would be incorrect. My initial criticism wasn't pointed at you, I just found it amusing that the loop pedal comes up automatically as a solution to problems in a lot of UG threads, when structuring your guitar part to suit the song properly will also solve it.

its an easy solution to the OP's problem. i mean, if you want to plan out a great guitar part instead, be my guest. but he said he was doing it soon and is only doing a few songs. if he doesnt have a lot of time and doesnt have a lot of experience making solo guitar parts, then a loop pedal would be an easy solution.
#31
Dude, little wing is centered around the solo. It's like the big climax of the entire song. If you can't solo, why pick little wing in the first place? Now when the crowd gets ready for the solo and everyone's on their toes your gonna need to pull fireworks or else.
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#32
One suggestion I can offer is to do it jazz-style - that is, play the chord of the underlying harmony, try to hold as many chord tones as possible and play the remaining notes in each lick on top. Barney Kessel does this kind of thing alot.

The other trick I use for filling out a solo is use lots of drone open strings - Ex. - if the key is Am, then try playing a melody line on the D string and hitting the A string at the same time for each note.

I'm kind of assuming this gig is over tho?
#33
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
depends on your audience. cream used to have huge rolling jam sessions and the audience loved it. if we are talking open mic night, yeah i wouldnt go too long.


I think that's mostly due to the time period, and the fact that Cream were massive. I'm just referring to you personally, playing a solo at wherever you are gigging next. Pay attention to the audience next time to have a gig, see how they react.

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
its an easy solution to the OP's problem. i mean, if you want to plan out a great guitar part instead, be my guest. but he said he was doing it soon and is only doing a few songs. if he doesnt have a lot of time and doesnt have a lot of experience making solo guitar parts, then a loop pedal would be an easy solution.


If the gig was soon, buying a loop pedal and learning how to use it effectively would probably not be the answer. As you said, you get better with practice. It would be easier to simply change the way you were playing the song on the guitar.
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#36
Quote by seljer
you can go crazy on little wing with just solo guitar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCgEuDODhf0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8_6aa-TTvI


I'm not sure if you noticed, but there's a full band in those videos.

But the videos that myearshurt suggested are on the right track - the chord structure is still implied through the solo.
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#38
Quote by AlanHB
I think that's mostly due to the time period, and the fact that Cream were massive. I'm just referring to you personally, playing a solo at wherever you are gigging next. Pay attention to the audience next time to have a gig, see how they react.

ive never noticed any people getting bored. although in my band the solos arent too long. i have a couple of songs where i can go off for a bit and jam. i never solo longer than i need to though.

also, cream became big because in part of their jamming. they didnt jam because they were big.


If the gig was soon, buying a loop pedal and learning how to use it effectively would probably not be the answer. As you said, you get better with practice. It would be easier to simply change the way you were playing the song on the guitar.

maybe, but it didnt take me more than a day to figure out how to use it AT LEAST for recording a part and storing it.... which is what i suggested he do anyway

but what ev's. doing it without any loops will sound more organic. personally, i would be more impressed with that. plus, in acoustic solo sets, people usually arent expecting to hear too many solos. so maybe a loop is the best idea now that i think of it. something short and sweet will do the trick. you dont have to do the solo as is on the record either.
#39
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
ive never noticed any people getting bored. although in my band the solos arent too long. i have a couple of songs where i can go off for a bit and jam. i never solo longer than i need to though.

also, cream became big because in part of their jamming. they didnt jam because they were big.


I feel ya. In my bands, I'll rarely have a solo that goes for more than 30 seconds or so. I'm sure that you've heard some bands where EVERY song has a 2-3 minute solo of some sort, and you're just like "err, can you just get back to the song already?"

In terms of audience and boredom, just pay attention, that's all. If the song ordinarily has a 2 minute solo, and the audience is not paying attention, talking amongst themselves, going off to the bar to get a drink, or walking out the door, well, maybe we should just cut the solo time off. As you said, only play as long as you need to.

In terms of Cream, well all the guys involved were superstars before the band was formed. I think they just happened to jam a lot. If you have an originals band starting from scratch, you can't usually book large stadiums with your 12 minute songs

That stuff is getting way off topic though.


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
maybe, but it didnt take me more than a day to figure out how to use it AT LEAST for recording a part and storing it.... which is what i suggested he do anyway


That's actually pretty impressive, especially so if you were able to get it exactly in time with and integrate it seemlessly into songs.

Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
but what ev's. doing it without any loops will sound more organic. personally, i would be more impressed with that. plus, in acoustic solo sets, people usually arent expecting to hear too many solos. so maybe a loop is the best idea now that i think of it. something short and sweet will do the trick. you dont have to do the solo as is on the record either.


Yeah for sure. Although some guys can use the loop pedal pretty tastefully and organically, a lot of times it really is used as an excuse to play a solo that goes forever.
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#40
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear


also, cream became big because in part of their jamming. they didnt jam because they were big.



They did get big cause of their jamming, but for their first few months, they didn't really jam that much and they were all very well known before that. So they did get pretty huge before they got too into the jamming.

To be honest, I think the best thing to do in these sorts of situations is to just do a short solo. Either just throw some extended fills in for the solos or just abbreviate the solo. Anything shorter than thirty seconds probably won't get to be long enough that the audience would lose interest if you have the solo down. If you feel like the audience is digging it though, I'd say it's fine to keep going, just keep track of how long you're playing for.